Have you noticed a lot of talk in the media - and in the grocery store - about the keto diet? It's the most popular diet in America, and with good reason.
Not only does it promise great weight loss, but many people report that it has helped them with other health concerns. It uses foods that are real and satisfying. Plus, they're foods that are on the shelf of every grocery store in the country.
Let's dive into the do's and don'ts of the keto diet plan so that you're set up for keto success!
Keto Diet 101: What is the Keto Diet Plan?
Keto is short for ketogenic. The ethos of the keto diet plan is to eat a very low-carbohydrate diet that is high in fat. This induces a state called ketosis in the body. In ketosis, the body burns fat efficiently for energy. As you've lowered your intake of carbohydrates, the body no longer runs on sugar or carbohydrates as its primary fuel source.
The result is that blood sugar and insulin levels are lowered. This helps a person following the keto diet plan to burn more fat and lose weight. There can also be other health benefits associated with lowering blood sugar and insulin levels.
Keto Diet Plan: Do's
There are many weight loss and health benefits associated with this diet. But to enjoy these, there are some keto diet rules that you need to follow.
Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods
Your body needs a wide range of vitamins and minerals, as well as macronutrients such as protein and fat. On the keto diet plan, you need to choose nutrient-dense foods like meat and poultry. Vegan substitutes such as tofu can also help you to obtain these nutrients.
You can eat deli and other processed meats, but watch out for added carbs. Another vegan option is tempeh. This is a handy substitute for meat in stir-frys, chillis, and a range of other dishes.
Fish, seafood, and eggs are also great sources of protein, fat, and micronutrients.
Choose Keto-Friendly Vegetables
There is a common misconception that the keto diet plan does not include vegetables. This is not the case. There are many great choices of veggies that are low in carbs and should be eaten as part of a balanced keto diet meal plan.
Some options include:
- Brussel sprouts
These are widely available and will keep your nutrient levels up so that you do not suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Include Keto-Friendly Fruits
As most fruits are high in sugar and therefore high in carbs, they are not included as part of a keto diet plan. But there are several fruits that you can include in small quantities to keep the diet interesting and varied.
These include tart berries such as raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Plums, kiwis, and cherries can also be eaten as an occasional treat. Treat yourself to a dollop of keto-friendly whipped cream on your fruit - delicious!
Eat Nuts and Seeds for Success
As they are naturally lower in carbs, most nuts and seeds are a great choice on keto. A word of warning - they can be addictive! Limit yourself to a few or up to a quarter cup for a special treat.
The best nuts and seeds for the keto diet are:
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
There are many more options besides these, including nut butters. Watch out for fruit and nut mixes that include carb-loaded dried fruit!
Dairy is Back on the Table
And we're talking full-fat dairy. Greek yogurt, whipped cream, butter, and cheese. These foods are naturally satisfying and keep you fuller for longer. You can include them in keto diet recipes such as cheesy broccoli or cauliflower soup. Try variations on classic recipes like Philly cheesesteak casserole.
Keto Diet Plan - Don'ts
The key to keto diet nutrition is maintaining low carbs while keeping fats high. It's no surprise then that the number 'don't' is avoiding high carbohydrate foods. The obvious culprits include rice, pasta, potatoes, and starchy vegetables.
There are lots of other hidden carbs and false friends that can get in the way of keto diet success. Let's have a look at a few common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Savory Products That Are Really Sweet
You'd never consider them dessert, but sauces like tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce, and pasta sauce can be seriously high in sugar. Just one tablespoon of ketchup contains more sugar than an average chocolate chip cookie.
Get in the habit of checking labels for sugar. The best way is to prepare your own condiments and sauces whenever possible. There are lots of great keto diet recipes out there for low-carb alternatives that actually taste great, if not better than the original.
Choosing 'Healthy' Foods That Are High in Carbs
If you've dieted before, it can take a while to adjust to the keto diet mindset. This includes changing your view of foods that you included in your diet before for health reasons. This might include whole-grain foods, oatmeal, legumes, muesli.
On the keto diet plan, these foods are not permitted. The good news is that there is an ever-growing range of keto-friendly bread, pasta, and rice substitutes on the market.
Watch out for false friends. Some foods that appear keto-friendly may not be on closer inspection. For example, many flavored and even some plain yogurts contain added sugar.
Even deli meats can have added sugar, so take care to buy ones that are not treated in this way. Sausages can have added high carbohydrate fillers. Also, beware of breading and coatings that bump up the carbs of some meat products.
How To Succeed on the Keto Diet Plan
Following the keto diet plan has transformed many people's lives. From dramatic weight loss to improvements in general health, it could be a great option to help you to improve your quality of life.
Following these do's and don'ts will help you to get started on your keto journey and set you up for success.
At American Dream Nut Butter we make an awesome range of products that add excitement and decadence to any keto meal plan. Check out our range of low-carb almond butters today!